The housing association has secured a £5.7 million loan from the GLA Community Housing Fund, which will allow it to buy 19 units at Bankhouse, a One Housing later-living scheme in Vauxhall.
Tonic will start sales for one- and two-bedroom shared-ownership homes later this spring, with the first residents expected to move in later this summer. It will co-create events and activities with residents based on their interests, including collaborations with other LGBT+ organisations and support providers. All the Bankhouse staff have undergone LGBT+ training.
Anna Kear, chief executive of Tonic Housing, said: ‘We are making history today, realising a long-held dream to provide a safe place for older LGBT+ people to live well, in a community where they can be themselves and enjoy their later life. We applaud the mayor of London for recognising and supporting the needs of older LGBT+ Londoners."
“We intend this to be the first of many Tonic retirement communities, achieved by working in partnership in London and other cities. These first homes, that are already built and currently empty, will enable people who need and want this accommodation to have the benefit of it immediately. Working with One Housing, we can complement the excellent care services that they provide for residents in the scheme," she added.
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “Older Londoners deserve to be able to enjoy their later years in comfort and security, surrounded by a thriving, supportive community. I look forward to seeing this realised at Bankhouse and to supporting Tonic’s work to establish further LGBTQ+ affirming developments in the years to come.”
One Housing chief executive Richard Hill added: “We are delighted to be working alongside Tonic Housing and the GLA to provide homes for older LGBT+ people. We have a long history of investing in homes and communities and providing assisted living to older people. We look forward to welcoming new LGBT+ customers to Bankhouse, where they’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages of independent living with onsite care and support when they need it.”